This Week in Houston Food Blogs: Cola Cupcakes and Crown Roast

The food bloggers have been blogging away in spite of the holiday rush, and we're going to share some of the best and brightest of their posts with you. This week's highlights include some truly decadent recipes, party tips and reviews of two hot and new restaurants.

Dalida of Brunch & Conversation recently learned a few things from Cheeses of Europe, a cheese advocacy group, and she posted some tips to help you serve wine and cheese like a pro at your next get-together. Her advice includes how to arrange the cheeses and some basic wine pairing tips. For the real newbies out there, she also included a shopping list that will help you put together your first cheese assortment.

If you're bored with the usual holiday desserts and want to try something a little more whimsical, check out the newest recipe from Sugar & Cloth for Coca-Cola cupcakes. They even used white sprinkles on top to make the cupcakes look fizzy, like a freshly opened Coke, and buttercream icing for an extra sweet addition. Red and white cupcake liners and striped candy straws complete the soda fountain effect.

Hank on Food went to new but already popular eatery The Del at 6565 Del Monte, where a yellowfin tuna tartare tickled his fancy with tomatoes, sweet chile sauce and crunchy wontons. The real belle of the ball, however, was the pretzel cheeseburger, which not only met Hank's great expectations but surpassed them. It's a hearty, juicy patty topped with cheddar fondue, grilled onions, pickle and aioli, all piled onto a pretzel bun, of course, and it made Hank sing with joy. If you try it, don't forget to ask for cheddar béchamel sauce to accompany the fries.

Barbecue isn't known for being pretty in the conventional sense, and Daniel Vaughn of the Texas Monthly BBQ blog says that it's that way for a good reason. He recently posted a guide to creating a delicious but unattractive pork crown roast; in order to fit the roast into those odd but traditional paper hats, you have to throw away about half of a rack of ribs, which is just unacceptable. The post includes directions on carving and shaping the roast, seasoning and smoking it to perfection.

Urban Swank's Shanna Jones took a trip to The Marque, 798 Sorella, to try the high-class Southern fare created by chef Eric Aldis. The Marque is a members-only club in CityCentre, but its new public restaurant, Method, shares a menu and a kitchen with the club. She was blown away by the lamb bacon, and a filet mignon served on a bed of cheese and lobster potatoes also stood out. 

Cooking bread can be daunting for more amateur cooks, but we're willing to face our fears in order to make this braided sour cream cardamom blackberry coffee bread from Karen at Honestly Yum. It might be a more complicated recipe, but this lovely loaf has appealing folds on top and a dark purple blackberry center that we just can't resist. Pair it with coffee for an indulgent breakfast, or serve it with hot tea for a fancy afternoon snack.

That's it for this week's blog round-up! If there's a blog that you'd like to see featured here, leave us a comment or send us an email.
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Alexandra Doyle